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How to Choose an Online Loan Site

Written by: Mort Sloan

Whether home mortgage, auto finance, or personal loans, the online loan world is a competitive place these days. If you surf the Internet very often, you have no doubt noticed the high level of web site advertising that takes place from unheard of financing shops to well established banking firms. Salesmen hiding behind the code of slick web site design and functionality swarm you with offers you can't seem to turn down. Home mortgage brokers come flying at you from everywhere offering you lower than market value mortgage rates. Auto lenders promise instant approval and the chance for those with bad credit to own the car of their dreams. Most consumers cannot become experts on the intricacies of online financing, but there are several things you can do to ensure comfort and security in the quest for an online loan.

In days past, your best option was to stop in at a local bank to chat with with a loan officer. You could take the best rate you could get or compare with other local institutions. This option of researching through meetings and phone conversations could be time consuming. Thanks to the proliferation of ecommerce, you now have the option of securing a loan with thousands of lenders, all competing with each other to offer the best "eloan."

How do you select the best loan offering out of thousands? Borrowing for a business, home or car is a serious financial commitment for most to make and you are likely to want to make it with someone reliable. This is more than possible to accomplish online. You won't get a customary smile and hand-shake and you may even miss out on the free T-shirt; but you do get lots of choices and plenty of online data you can use to make your decision. There are many online loan sites which are highly reputable and provide the best services a customer could hope for, but there are others that will trick you with hidden costs that may not become evident until later.

When going out mortgage shopping on the Internet, you could do a comparison on the various loan rates, features and reliability. After you gather a list of lenders for serious consideration, begin your work:

-Perform a search on your favorite search engines to spy out what kind and how many negative articles and reviews have been written about the company's online loan practices. For example, you could perform a Google search for "Company Name Review" or "Company Name Review Negative" and see what turns up.

-Investigate the reputation and credibility of the company web site by performing a directory lookup or check an online map to confirm their physical address.

-Examine the lender's track record. A check through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) web site at http://www.ftc.gov may give you a good idea about how worthy your lender is.

-Apart from the FTC, you could also confirm if the lender's web site has been reviewed by TrustE. If TrustE approves of the company web site, the home page of the online loan site will carry a familiar TrustE seal.

-Make sure the site you consider submitting your loan application to is secure. The additional 's' in 'https' indicates the use of a secure protocol. Most sites that ask customers to submit personal information use the Secure Sockets Layer to encrypt the data submitted. PayPal is one example of a site using SSL.

-When you log on to any online loan site to submit your loan application, look at the address field of your browser and notice if the company name appears in the domain name like: www.companyname.com. If the URL supplied to you resembles something like www.domainname.com/loans/companyname, you may want to double check the identity.

In making an important transaction like this online, it's always best to opt for a little extra caution. The "better safe than sorry" cliché is an understatement when picking a loan site. If you take the right smart steps and do the correct research, you may just end up a little wealthier.

About the author:

Mort Sloan writes for Eloan Review http://www.eloanreview.com, a database of online loan providers which are rated and reviewed by editors as well as site visitors.


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